If there’s one thing I love about Middle Eastern food, it’s tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese salad made from finely chopped parsley, tomato, bulgur wheat, cumin spice, and lots and lots of lemon. Lettuce is usually served to scoop up the salad alongside with pita, hummus, and baba ghanoush. It is divine. But I decided to switch it up a bit. My twist on this? How about a couscous tabbouleh?
I’m not a huge fan of bulgur wheat. To be honest, I’ve only ever used it in tabbouleh — nothing else. So when it came to choosing a grain to include in the tabbouleh, I went with couscous. Now, I have never cooked couscous in my life and my god, it has got to be the easiest thing ever to make. It’s basically a ratio of 1:1 for couscous to boiling water, cover and let sit for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork. Easy as pie! Alternatively, I usually put quinoa in other times I’ve made tabbouleh and it’s just as great, if not, better.
One thing I learned from my Lebanese friends when making tabbouleh is to use your hands. Chop all your parsley, tomatoes, and onions by hand. Squeeze the lemon juice with your hands. Mix the tabbouleh with your hands. You get the picture? And keep on tasting as you go. One thing I observed while they made this dish 2 Christmases ago was that the Lebanese love lots of lemon. Lemon is key. A pinch of salt at the end (or to taste) also seals the deal.
So if you ever have a bunch of parsley lying around and don’t know what to do with it, make tabbouleh. Life. Saver.
What you’ll need:
– 1 cup dried couscous
– 1 cup water
– 1 large bunch curly parsley, stems included, chopped finely
– 1 bifsteak tomatoe, seeds and pulp removed, chopped finely
– 1/8 yellow onion, chopped finely
– 1/2 large lemon, juiced
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
What you’ll need to do:
1. Bring 1 cup of water to a bowl and pour it over the couscous, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done and set aside.
2. In the meantime, chop up all the rest of your ingredients.
3. Once everything is ready, combine all the ingredients – all the vegetables, couscous, lemon, and spices. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.